Trend to make Chairman or Speaker 'convenient punching bag' is concerning: VP Jagdeep Dhankhar

Emphasizing the need for maintaining strict adherence to democratic values and parliamentary traditions in our Legislatures, the Vice-President said that 'the kind of conduct that was seen in the recent Parliament Session is truly painful, for it reflects significant moral erosion in our legislative discourse.'
Last Updated : 11 July 2024, 14:39 IST

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Mumbai: The trend to make Chairperson or Speaker of the House a "convenient punching bag" is very concerning, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Thursday noting that the sacrilege of strategised disruptions and disturbance is a serious issue in democracy.

“Weaponising of politics by stalling functioning of Parliament is pregnant with serious consequences for our polity,” the Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson said addressing the Maharashtra legislature at the Vidhan Bhavan complex in Mumbai on Thursday.

According to Dhankhar, decorum and discipline are the heart and soul of democracy. “The strength of democracy lies in the diversity of opinions and the ability to find common ground through constructive engagement. It is a system that thrives on dialogue, debate, discussion and deliberation,” he said.

Dhankhar reminded that Parliamentarians are not part of a debating society.

According to him, the law-makers need to be accommodative. “The other point of view needs consideration. To reject instantly without consideration the other point of view is antithetical to democratic discourse. We must believe in dialogue and discussion,” he said.

Dhankhar pointed out that historically our legislative assemblies and the Parliament have largely functioned in a calm and composed way. “The remarkable and efficient functioning of the constituent assembly should be our role model. Highly divisive, emotive and contentious issues were traversed consensually and collaboratively in a decorous manner. Over a period of about three years the constituent assembly witnessed no disturbance and disruption, much less slogan shouting and trooping into the well of the house,” he said.

Dhankhar went on to add, “Today, the primacy of debate, dialogue, deliberation and discussion in legislatures has yielded to disruption and disturbance. All is not well with the Indian political system, it is functioning under great strain. Weaponizing of politics by stalling functioning of Parliament is pregnant with serious consequences for our polity.”

On the recent developments in the Houses of Parliament, he said that the recent conduct of members in Parliament sessions is truly painful and it reflects significant moral erosion in our legislative discourse.

"It is deeply concerning the trend to make Chairperson or Speaker a convenient punching bag. This is inappropriate. When we take the Chair we have to be equitable, we have to be fair. It is a duty to engage sometimes in present working and sometimes deal with unpleasant situations and therefore this temple of democracy should never be sacrilege. Respect for the chair must always be there and for this senior members in Parliament and legislature have to lead the way,” the Vice President said.

“There was a time we had amiability and cordiality, we had Wit, humor, satire and sarcasm. These are getting away from us. we need to be back in the grove. Instead of satire instead of wit instead of humor instead of sarcasm what we have is adversarial scenario, confrontational approach we need collaboration we need consensual approach. We are at the other extreme,” he added.

However, the Vice President said now we often witness confrontational and adversarial scenarios. “Nothing can be more distressing for the public than to witness such a deplorable scenario from their representatives whom they have placed here with great hopes and expectations,” he said.

Published 11 July 2024, 14:39 IST

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